Sunday, June 22, 2008


I have been researching the so called privacy. In Texas it is clearly defined as the right to be free from governmental intrusion. What is really interesting is that Indiana also clearly defines it this way. There is however one major BUT. Its adoption. Adoption records were sealed in 1941. That year was the height of the Georgia Tann era. In many states, that is when records were sealed.

Indiana code specifically seperates adoptees and their families from the non adopted. I was thinking about their Bill of Rights with their constitution.

"Section 23. The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens. "

Here me out on this one. Lets take a car that is being sold or even a house. The owner has sold this property to another person. The previous owner has relinquished all of their rights to that property right? They don't get new rights. They don't get the right to privacy with that property. Their names are on the title of that property. They have to sign their names on the old title stating that they are turning it over to the new owner. The previous owner knows who he has sold his property to.

I know adoption isn't about property. Isn't that how we treat adoptees? Adoptees aren't property.

Lets look at the birth certificate. Who has access to the birth certificates? The parents of the person and the person themselves have access to the birth certificate.

In Texas, a birth certificate itself is not a public record but the recording of the birth is a public record. It is written in the law that birth, marriage, divorce and death indices are all public record. According to Texas privacy law, everyone has special access to all documents that have their name on them. This is how Texas will be won. The records are already public with the indices.

Indiana is a little different. The Indiana Privacy legislation specifically denies anyone access to the adoption records including the OBC forever. The adoptive parents don't even have access to those records. Everyone else has access to their own records except those affected by adoption.

This is discrimination. If the non adopted don't have to ask permission to access their own birth certificates, then why do those affected by adoption?

What I think the law should reflect:

  • Adoptees and their natural parents should have access to the OBC. Their names are on the OBC. According to privacy laws through out the country, we should have the special access. No one person has more rights than the other.
  • The natural parents should have access to their relinquishment records. It has their name and their signature on it. It belongs to them.
  • The adoption finalization belongs to the adoptive parents. It is their signature and their names on the adoption finalization. If the name of the adoptee is on it, then they too should have access to it.
  • HIPPA information belongs to mother in regards to her medical information. The adoptee should have access to their HIPPA information.
As I think more of this, I also think of that particular section in the Indiana Bill of Rights. Who is really protected by the sealing of all adoption records? It is the adoption agencies and the attorneys. According to that section, the state shall not provide any privileges and immunities to any person or class of citizens that other citizens do not receive. Hmmm this sounds like discrimination against adoptees and their families.

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